Despite modern concerns of gluten-free or keto-friendly diets, bread has historically been a nutrition staple, and continues to provide energy and life to those who eat it! Bread also serves as a simple and fun visual for this children’s message. Use whatever variety of bread might be relevant to your students (maybe even donuts!) to explain how important bread is. Jesus called Himself the “bread of life”, and we recognize that we need Him for fuel and nourishment in our faith lives, just as we need physical food for our bodies. Jesus is essential to all things. You can’t have life without Him, any more than you can make a sandwich without bread!
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus provides all that we need! He promises daily bread, gives His body and blood for us, and promises to sustain us in all aspects of body and life. It can be easy to grow distracted by our material or physical needs, but we know that life is so much more. God gave manna in the wilderness as a foreshadowing of the true bread of life to come. When we hear Jesus proclaim Himself that bread of life, we take hope in knowing that He gives us spiritual “food” and always will.
Optional Materials: Bread, bread dough, bread products
Bible Passage: John 6:24-35
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the vide of this children’s sermon and related craft ideas
- Compare another John 6:24-35 Sunday School lesson or Bible Lesson on the Bread of Life
- Compare this I AM the Bread of Life lesson plan and printable Bread of Life crafts
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Children’s Sermon (John 6:24-35) Jesus is the Bread of Life
Greet the children, and have several “bread-based” props with you. If you don’t have bread dough handy, consider a picture of bread dough.
Hello, children of God! Do you know what I have here? What is this strange squishy-looking lump? (Hold up dough or picture of dough). This is called dough! Right now, of course, it’s pretty soft. But do you know what would happen if I put it into the oven for a bit? It would puff up and turn into bread! It might look something like this (hold up baked bread of slices/loaves of bread). Do you like bread? What do you like to use bread for? (Take a few responses). Bread is very important for many things. If you want pizza, a sandwich, a hot dog, or just some toast, you have to have bread first! It’s a main staple of diets—well, until the gluten-free and keto needs came along, anyway. Bread used to be one of the only things available, and people depended on it to stay fueled and nourished.
Bread is featured in several important Bible passages. When God’s people were wandering around in the wilderness, God gave them bread (manna) to eat. When Jesus was teaching a large crowd, he used a few loaves of bread to feed them. Well, our story today takes place not long after that event. People had started to follow Jesus around, and they had heard of the amazing things that He did. They still didn’t quite understand who Jesus was, and they were asking Him questions about Himself. Jesus called them out. He knew they were looking for more miracles, and that they were chasing after Him because of what He had done in feeding the crowds. Maybe that meal featured some extra delicious bread!
However, Jesus warned these people that there were more important things than food that feeds physical hunger. He told the people not to focus on food that spoils, but on things that lead to eternal life. They were a bit confused, but Jesus told them to believe in Him. His listeners asked for some sort of sign, describing how the Israelites received manna from Heaven as a sign of God’s presence. Jesus explained that God sent that bread from heaven…God also sent a different kind of bread from Heaven, to give life to the world. Here, the Messiah was talking about Himself! HE is the true bread of life. Jesus said that He was sent down to give life, and that all who “ate of His bread” would never be hungry again.
What does that mean? Obviously, our stomachs are going to get hungry. We still need to take in food. But Jesus was referring to something more than that. He was talking about satisfying a soul hunger. We have spiritual needs for things that can’t be taken care of with food or other material items. Whether we recognize it or not, we have a craving that only Christ can fulfill. We need to be spiritually nourished in order to grow in our faith and to serve other people. So how do we do that? How can we “consume” the blessings of Jesus? We pray; we read His Word; we recognize that He is present with us always. We can also remember and celebrate our salvation when we go to church and worship with other believers.
We need food to survive in our bodies, and we need Jesus to survive in our souls. We can’t live without Him, any more than you can make a sandwich without bread! He gives us life!
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us spiritual nourishment
You are the bread of life
And we are strengthened in you
Help us to grow in that health
Thank you for our daily bread!
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. -John 6:24-35